THIS ONE WAS NOT SO LAZY


Courtesy of Dan Gowie

        George Gowie, from the New York town of Defreestville, was one of those men you'd call a racing pioneer. Starting out with stock cars in the late 1940's, it   appears he never got into the dangerous roadster racing in the area; but, rather, he chose to do all his racing with the more sensible stock cars. I missed my only chance to see him race when I missed a week at Fairmont Speedway in 1962 [a very rare occurrence when I missed], and a friend of mine came home with a photo of this car no. 1, about which he had learned nothing.

     From what I have been able to determine from sites like Lebanon Valley Classics and from people like George's son, Dan's Facebook page, Gowie started out at early rudimentary tracks like Burden Lake, near West Sand Lake, NY and perhaps at others like Carroll's Grove. Some of his earlier shots seem to be from Route 66 Speedway, near Averill  Park. I would assume he would also have given such tracks as The Pine Bowl, Whites Beach, and maybe even Empire Raceway at try, too.

  It becomes obvious that George raced extensively at Lebanon Valley Speedway, as most of his later photos seem to be from there. George liked to use the number "Lazy 1" on his cars, although an occasional Lazy 2 and cars of other numbers are seen in his photos. He seems to have been successful enough where he should be in the NYSSCRA Hall of Fame, but I don't know if he is.

EARLY YEARS


Courtesy of Daniel Gowie
A crowd watching a late 1940's race, probably at Burden Lake. Must be George was in it.

Courtesy of Sam Barlow
A scarce photo of the pits and a race lining up at the East Greenbush [NY] Speedbowl. George's 1 is visible in the pits.

Courtesy of Daniel Gowie
This is labeled as 1956, but it kind of looks like more East Greenbush. More likely, it's Rte 66.
 
Courtesy of Daniel Gowie
George is in this early lineup which really does look like Burden Lake.
 
Courtesy of Daniel Gowie
Lining up and fussing around on an early track in the early 1950's. Although I can only identify Johnny Flach, I have to assume George in there somewhere.
 
Courtesy of Daniel Gowie
Bummer day ! Does anyone recognize the venue?
 
Courtesy of Daniel Gowie
I don't know George well enough to know if this Gowie photo is of him or a second team driver.
 
Courtesy of Daniel Gowie
George [at right] with an early partner named Art Dell.
 
Courtesy of Daniel Gowie
Earlier checkers on a really muddy track.
 
Courtesy of Daniel Gowie
Three stock cars out back in the winter. The righthand one looks like a Lazy 1.
 
Courtesy of LVC
There's that 127 Hudson
seen in the preceding photo.
 
Courtesy of Phil Miller
George is clearly seen in this Rte. 66 lineup, as is that Hudson #127. Also seen are such as Fred Searing, Johnny Flach, Merwin Hommel, and Johnny Kettel.
 
Courtesy of Daniel Gowie
Apparently very early Gowie racing headquarters.
 
Courtesy of Daniel Gowie
Probably more Gowie
back yard preparations.
 
Courtesy of Daniel Gowie
Early pre-Lazy 1 Gowie
car ?
 
Courtesy of Daniel Gowie
Gowie family works on Gowie race cars.
 
From Dan Ody's 8MM
Old Speedways DVD's
One theory is that this is George at Rte 66; Bob Miller thinks it is at East Greenbush.
 
From Dan Ody's 8MM
Old Speedways DVD's
One theory is that this is George at Rte 66; Bob Miller thinks it is at East Greenbush.
 
Courtesy of Phil Miller
An earlier Lazy 1 sits
in the Route 66 pit area.
 
From LVC
Don't know what he was putting a deposit on... could they have wanted to restore the cranky old track ?.
 
Courtesy of Joe McCarty
A post - rain shower parade at Burden Lake shows a red and white car that could be George. I also like the car in the back that has a Spence Parkhurst - looking color scheme going on.


Courtesy of Sam Barlow
According to Sam, the 1957 version of Lazy 1 at Route 66 Speedway.

Source LVC
A Lazy 1 is seen full of
precious cargo.

Courtesy of Dan Gowie
This and next two photos are said to be from 1949. Then it's likely Burden Lake Speedway. GG looks
like someone just insulted his sister.

Courtesy of Dan Gowie
This and next two photos are said to be from 1949. Then it's likely Burden Lake.

Courtesy of Dan Gowie
This and next two photos are said to be from 1949. Then it's likely Burden Lake pit area maybe.

Courtesy of Dan Gowie
This and next two photos are said to be from 1953. Still looks like Burden Lake.

Courtesy of Dan Gowie
Said to be from 1953. Location uncertain.

Courtesy of Dan Gowie
Dan says Bill Webb drove this car for George. These must be the crew.

Courtesy of Dan Gowie
 1953. Still looks like Burden Lake. I gotta take peoples' word.

Courtesy of Dan Gowie
Hello, I drive Georgie
wild !

Courtesy of Dan Gowie
This is at Staeline, 1954. Is George still wild ?

Courtesy of Dan Gowie
At home, maybe with Dan.

Courtesy of Dan Gowie
Sure looks like Burden Lake here, and very early.

Courtesy of Dan Gowie
This is that 127 seen in another photo above. Can't tell who the driver is.

Courtesy of Dan Gowie
A very blurry shot of the
Gowie racinig headquarters with a sedan I never saw before.

Courtesy of Dan Gowie
Same sedan, with
crew members at play.

Courtesy of Dan Gowie
This is a very early shot. UNK track. They only mixed stock cars and open wheel cars in the late 1940's.

Courtesy of Daniel Gowie
Dan said the cigar was almost always there.

Courtesy of Daniel Gowie
An early version, judging
from the number.

Courtesy of Daniel Gowie
A nice victory photo.
 

 

THE "OTHER" LAZY 1

 
Ladabouche Collection
This Lazy 1, Defreestville and all, was photgraphed at Fairmont in 1962 . Unless it was sold to someone else - George had it there in 1962.
 
Courtesy of Mark LeFrancois
George with what appears to be the 1937 Ford Lazy 1 at Fairmont Park Motor Speedway. I believe the shot is from 1950.

Source Unknown
What appears to be that same Lazy 1 is seen, flying the checkers - date and t rack unknown.

Courtesy of Daniel Gowie
A win with the '37 Ford.
   

THE ILL _ FATED LAZY 1

 
Ray Williams Photo
via Russ Blake
The sharp red and white
Lazy 1, under caution at
Lebanon Valley.
 
Courtesy of Mark LeFrancois
What appears to be the same Lazy 1 is seen, hood up, in a Fairmont lineup in 1951.

Courtesy of Daniel Gowie
A water - damaged shot of that same car - before the wreck.

Ray Williams Photo
Courtesy of Daniel Gowie
A shot of the wreck aftermath, at the track.

Ray Williams Photo
Courtesy of Daniel Gowie
A shot of the wreck aftermath, at the track.
It looks like Dee Goodermotte also
involved.

Courtesy of Daniel Gowie
After the wreck - at home. I imagine Mrs. Gowie was  less than thrilled.
   
Courtesy of Daniel Gowie
Another shot of the wreck aftermath, at home.

Courtesy of Daniel Gowie
A note by George on
back of one of the wreck photos.

Courtesy of Daniel Gowie
With tever - present cigar. A lot of the guys used them to keep their teeth from cracking together on bumpy tracks.
 

THE LATER YEARS

 
From LVC
This is said to be the last Gowie car - at
Lebanon Valley.
 
Courtesy of Daniel Gowie
via LVC
George with Joe Norton's
9X.

Courtesy of Daniel Gowie
Somebody's rendition
of a Lazy 1.
     

 

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